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Pilot Production Technology for Shape Memory Materials


Development of Pilot Production Technology of Thin Shape Memory Materials Based on Quasi-Binary Intermetallic Systems

Tech Area / Field

  • MAN-MAT/Engineering Materials/Manufacturing Technology
  • MAT-ALL/High Performance Metals and Alloys/Materials

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
TsNIIChermet (Ferrous Metallurgy), Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • MIFI, Russia, Moscow\nVNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov


  • Memory-Metalle GmbH, Germany, Weil am Rhein\nForschungszentrum Karlsruhe Technik und Umwelt / Institute für Materialforschung, Germany, Karlsruhe\nNational Institute for Materials Science, Japan, Tsukuba\nUniversita degli studi di Milano-Bicocca / Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Italy, Milan\nDynalloy, Inc., USA, Costa Mesa

Project summary

The goal of the project is to develop the methods of production and optimize the technology for manufacturing thin materials exhibiting the shape-memory effect (SME). Owing to their unique properties, shape-memory alloys (SMAs) can find perse, steadily widening applications, primarily, in power, instrument and mechanical engineering, aerospace technology, medicine, and minirobotics. In this case, devices use mainly massive materials, produced with the conventional technology. At the same time, solution of various engineering problems requires that devices based on these alloys should be miniature, economical-to-operate, and fast-responding, which elicits the necessity to develop and study thin materials with the SME. However, production of thin materials from TiNi-based alloys ingots using standard technology is complicated and labor-intensive; moreover, this technology causes deterioration of the SME properties through formation of brittle phases. It is suggested in the project that rapid melt quenching (melt spinning and planar flow casting techniques) and laser-plasma deposition of thin films will be used to produce thin SME materials. This will allow us to obtain a wide range of thin SME materials with varying physical and mechanical properties. Numerous publications on this subject indicate that the interest to these materials has increased significantly. It is noticeable that the authors of the project have more than ten year work experience in this field and the priority of works reporting on these investigations.

In particular, Physical Metallurgy Department of I.P.Bardin Central Research Institute of Iron and Steel Industry (Chermet) has large scientific experience and traditions in the study of thermodynamics, kinetics, and crystallogeometry of martensitic transformations, as well as in the analysis of the structure of amorphous and nanocrystalline states.

Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) has developed the technological basis for producing rapidly quenched alloys of quasi-binary TiNiTiCu system. This will allow us to create the experimental technique for manufacturing a foil ribbon from SMAs of other compositions. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that thin SME materials can be efficiently used to produce thermosensitive devices, in particular, thermorelays and heat detectors for fire alarm systems.

All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics (VNIIEF) has the technological base that is required to perform practical and diagnostic operations, namely: heat treatment of amorphous films for creating a fine-grained structure; material straining to change the structure; heat treatment of the strained material to ensure the stability of the changed structure; study of the shape recovery under different shape-setting conditions; electron-microscope and optical-metallography investigations; structural, chemical and X-ray analysis; and calorimetric investigation of martensitic transformations.

The project implementation is expected to result in obtaining new alloys of intermetallic systems on the basis of TiNi, doped with different impurities (Cu, Zr, Hf, B, Fe, etc.), in amorphous, microcrystalline, or nanocrystalline state. The alloys will be produced by rapid melt quenching and laser-plasma deposition of thin films with subsequent isothermal heating and pulsed thermal action of electric current and laser radiation. We shall determine the fundamental parameters of the structures thus obtained and the factors affecting the structure formation; establish the kinetic and crystal-structure features of the course of the thermoelastic and athermal martensite phase transitions in submicrocrystalline and amorphous-microcrystalline materials; study the basic characteristics of the martensite transformation; measure the physical and mechanical characteristics of the alloys upon the manifestation of the shape-memory and superelasticity effects in ultradisperse materials. The effect of the degree and rate of strain on the thermomechanical characteristics of these SMAs will be investigated. Finally, the optimal technological parameters of thin-SME-material production will be determined for different alloy compositions and the given physical and mechanical properties. This will allow us to develop a series of new miniature fast-responding devices, applicable for environmental protection and nuclear safety, specifically, various micro-electro-mechanical elements, heat and fire detectors, and data-processing units.

The project is expected to be implemented in collaboration with the foreign partners. Taking into account the high skill of specialists and the advanced equipment of potential collaborators, we plan a joint study of the properties of the materials that will be produced and discussion of the future results. Among the collaborators are Institute of Material Research I, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany, Dr. P.Shlossmacher; Memory-Metalle GmbH, Weil am Rhein, Germany, Dr. M.Mertmann; Shape Memory Applications, Inc., Santa Clara, USA, Dr. D.Hodgson; and Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Universita’ di Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy, Prof. G.Airoldi.

The project participants possess necessary techniques and basic equipment to achieve the project objectives. The personal has a high skill in solid-state physics, physical metallurgy, optics, physics of thin films, electronics, and computer technologies. Taking into account possible participation of these collaborators in the project implementation, vast horizons lie before us in developing a class of new materials which will promote solution of numerous urgent problems of the humanity.


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